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FlyingElvii
Posts: 1816
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:01 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ASFlyer wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
So, the airline is responsible for the hotels failures or overselling?
The airline need to correct the problem (maybe by suing the hotels, that's up to them); but saying the airline is at fault because of the hotels actions is a stretch too far.


Yes, the airline is responsible. There's no universe where it's okay to send a crew to a layover somewhere and just say, "sorry, everything is sold out and we couldn't find you a room, hope you can find a place yourself, get good rest". That's ridiculous. The airlines agree to the contracts to - it's a two way street. They're on the hook for finding accommodations.


Been there in a bizjet, “we’re going back to plane and fly elsewhere” or “$1000 a night, no sweat, here’s the company card”. Done both. Obviously, not possible in an airline position or a train one.

Back in my scheduling days, the most I ever paid for rooms for an IROP crew was $1,750 a night each, in New York during the United Nations meetings.
You have to up a couple of management steps to get something like that approved, but it is done when needed.

In the FCA case, it sounds as if nothing ACCEPTABLE was available for hundreds of miles. NOT uncommon in that area during summer peak season, it is remote to begin with. If the crew agrees to a lower scale hotel without amenities, great! If they don’t then they have to sit until something is found, and that could be a while given that other crews in similar situations may have first priority.
 
DLASFlyer
Posts: 402
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:06 pm

Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:21 pm

BarryH wrote:
Let me give you a hotelier's point of view. We house C5 in a secondary market. Based on the monthly schedule we were given before the month began there were two flights with 3 crew per flight overnighting. They stopped overnighting the crew of the earlier two flights and never notified us (we're supposed to be update daily) so they ended up paying for 3 rooms they didn't use for two weeks.

Then, because the operational performance of the last flight in went to crap due to crew rest issues causing UA to go ape crap, they started flying two sets of crew in on the last flight in so the deadheading crew could fly the AM flight out in case the crew flying the flight in timed out. They consistently ask and pay for 6 rooms but some times don't send the additional crew. And we never know whether we're getting those 3 extra crew until the plane lands and we speak directly to the crew flying it.

So it's a two way street. Because of OTP and crew shortages the airlines have lost control of crew scheduling and aren't keeping the hotels updated as to what their real needs are. Some hotels wouldn't be as benevolent as I am so when I get no names for those 3 extra rooms requested I just charge them at the crew rate when if I'm full I could sell them for three times that because without having been given names those rooms aren't really committed.

As for hotel performance in general we're suffering the same issues every business is. We can't get staff and what we do get is subpar and turn over is exceptionally high. We can't get towels, linen, amenities, and maintenance supplies reliably due to supply chain issues. We do the best we can but guests who haven't traveled since before COVID are expecting things to be like they were and that's not going to happen any time soon.

As for how hotels view airline crew it depends on the situation and is influenced by geography. Areas like Hawaii, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Disney run similar occupancy rates 7 days a week. When demand is high hotels in those areas don't need airline crew. Most other hotels are seeing strong demand on weekends and weaker demand midweek due to the slow comeback of corporate travel and meetings. In those situation you lose money housing airline crew on weekends but make it up on the midweek rooms that would otherwise go unsold.

So in summary the airlines operational performance, pushing their networks to the limit, and crew shortages have made them totally awful partners to hotels from a communication and reliability perspective. In the C5 example they've admitted they don't how many crew we'll get on some days and just pay for more rooms than they need just in case. Hotels in high demand destinations are probably regretting their crew business right now but most play the long game. The spread of Delta may make those that were riding high regret casting aside their airline business when their occupancies return to 50%. BTW, whether to take crew and at how much is decided by each individual hotel and the brands have nothing to do with it.


Very informative. If you were oversold on a given night and only half the C5 rooms were occupied would you release the remaining rooms to other guests even though C5 paid for them?
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 1816
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:49 pm

DLASFlyer wrote:
BarryH wrote:
Let me give you a hotelier's point of view. We house C5 in a secondary market. Based on the monthly schedule we were given before the month began there were two flights with 3 crew per flight overnighting. They stopped overnighting the crew of the earlier two flights and never notified us (we're supposed to be update daily) so they ended up paying for 3 rooms they didn't use for two weeks.

Then, because the operational performance of the last flight in went to crap due to crew rest issues causing UA to go ape crap, they started flying two sets of crew in on the last flight in so the deadheading crew could fly the AM flight out in case the crew flying the flight in timed out. They consistently ask and pay for 6 rooms but some times don't send the additional crew. And we never know whether we're getting those 3 extra crew until the plane lands and we speak directly to the crew flying it.

So it's a two way street. Because of OTP and crew shortages the airlines have lost control of crew scheduling and aren't keeping the hotels updated as to what their real needs are. Some hotels wouldn't be as benevolent as I am so when I get no names for those 3 extra rooms requested I just charge them at the crew rate when if I'm full I could sell them for three times that because without having been given names those rooms aren't really committed.

As for hotel performance in general we're suffering the same issues every business is. We can't get staff and what we do get is subpar and turn over is exceptionally high. We can't get towels, linen, amenities, and maintenance supplies reliably due to supply chain issues. We do the best we can but guests who haven't traveled since before COVID are expecting things to be like they were and that's not going to happen any time soon.

As for how hotels view airline crew it depends on the situation and is influenced by geography. Areas like Hawaii, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Disney run similar occupancy rates 7 days a week. When demand is high hotels in those areas don't need airline crew. Most other hotels are seeing strong demand on weekends and weaker demand midweek due to the slow comeback of corporate travel and meetings. In those situation you lose money housing airline crew on weekends but make it up on the midweek rooms that would otherwise go unsold.

So in summary the airlines operational performance, pushing their networks to the limit, and crew shortages have made them totally awful partners to hotels from a communication and reliability perspective. In the C5 example they've admitted they don't how many crew we'll get on some days and just pay for more rooms than they need just in case. Hotels in high demand destinations are probably regretting their crew business right now but most play the long game. The spread of Delta may make those that were riding high regret casting aside their airline business when their occupancies return to 50%. BTW, whether to take crew and at how much is decided by each individual hotel and the brands have nothing to do with it.


Very informative. If you were oversold on a given night and only half the C5 rooms were occupied would you release the remaining rooms to other guests even though C5 paid for them?

The hotels cannot really do that, because they don’t know how we may end up covering a trip. Just because an inbound is canceled, doesn’t mean we may not be sending in another crew on another flight, even another airline, to cover the next day.

We would occasionally get calls from panicked desk against asking us to release rooms, but it was rare that we could actually give them an answer. IROPS can be very fluid, and plans can and do change by the minute, based on what is, is not, or could be available.
 
MKIAZ
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:04 pm

One thing you can bet though, when those airline/hotel rate contracts expire, the new ones are going to be more expensive for the airlines.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:10 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
Now Southwest crews have filed a grievance against WN as well. AA is not the only one.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ks-fatigue


Makes sense...can't imagine AA was the only problem.
 
mcg
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:18 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
ASFlyer wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Is it the airline's responsibility if all the hotel rooms in a "reasonable" radius are all occupied and none available?


Yes, in fact, per the contracts the airlines agree to with their work groups, it IS the airlines responsibility to find hotel accommodations for overnight stays.

So, the airline is responsible for the hotels failures or overselling?
The airline need to correct the problem (maybe by suing the hotels, that's up to them); but saying the airline is at fault because of the hotels actions is a stretch too far.


Sorry, it is the airlines responsibility to provide hotel accommodation to overnighting crews. If they fail to do so then they haven't met their agreed upon resonsibility.
 
mcg
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:29 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
alasizon wrote:
Does anyone have an actual list of some of the referenced failures since the one FCA example was a bad one?

That won’t be revealed till a grievance hearing

FCA is always bad in summer when an IROP happens, I would think that this year even more so. Very limited options, no transportation, hotels not able to find staff, especially low-paid cleaning staff, massive crowds, and LONG distances to other options.


FWIW I was in the Flathead Valley when the AA incident happened and it was pretty chaotic. It was hard to find a parking space at Wal Mart, there was no real chance of finding 6 or so hotel rooms. The extremely crowded conditions were caused by an extraordinarily busy summer tourist season and the music festival. Post event, some are wondering why the festival was scheduled at the height of the high season.
 
mcg
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:32 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
Contracts are great, but there are times when they aren’t worth the paper they are written on. Does not matter what it says, when you just can’t schit out four, or seven, or ten QUALIFYING hotel rooms within 100 miles. It does happen at times, whether you want it to or not.


Yes - but that still doesn’t absolve them of the legal responsibility to their customers and crew. They can deadhead a fresh crew to operate the airplanes. Rest requirements are not to be toyed with - I think the FAA and any judge would agree that is any area of little compromise.


That's right, but we're talking in this thread about a grievance, not about an FAA investigation of rest legality. The FCA incident (still the only one anyone has identified specifically) occurred precisely because the crew observed duty time regulations and did not operate the return flight.


The Denver Post reported a similar incident at HDN with a Skywest crew.
 
BarryH
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:43 pm

DLASFlyer wrote:
Very informative. If you were oversold on a given night and only half the C5 rooms were occupied would you release the remaining rooms to other guests even though C5 paid for them?


Oversells are like a countdown in the hotel industry. By 10:00PM if I have 3 normal arrivals and 3 crew I run the risk of walking people. Most of the time I'd walk regular guests vs. the crew. Part of it is compassion because crew arriving late in the evening for an overnight are just wiped. We've had to walk C5 a couple of times but they were put at a hotel next door, still had breakfast with us, and we gave them each 10,000 loyalty points so they were happy. We always work with crew scheduling before we do it.

FlyingElvii wrote:
The hotels cannot really do that, because they don’t know how we may end up covering a trip. Just because an inbound is canceled, doesn’t mean we may not be sending in another crew on another flight, even another airline, to cover the next day.

We would occasionally get calls from panicked desk against asking us to release rooms, but it was rare that we could actually give them an answer. IROPS can be very fluid, and plans can and do change by the minute, based on what is, is not, or could be available.


I/we can do anything we want when the airline or crew management firm they've hired gives us wrong or no information. The contract stipulates what is communicated, how it's communicated, and when it's communicated with hard cutoffs.

You're making it sound like what's going on is routine. Schedules are so disrupted, and not due to irrops, that the airlines have lost control of the process. We have to have the name of each crew member and use the airline provided sign-in sheet to document their arrival for liability purposes. We can have a pilot/FO/FA's name changed half a dozen times within a 12 hour period with each change communicated in a programmatic e-mail. Lately we've been getting daily crew reports that have all the positions blank with the names provided (or not) throughout the day. Changes are made so frequently we'll get communication about a change on a crew member hours after we've already checked someone in. Or we'll check someone in and not have received any communication about their arrival prior to their checkout. We get cancels for crew we never had reservations for or expected in the first place. My company manages 1,500 hotels and this is the new normal.

As I said, I'm benevolent. Other hotels may not be and it's the airline or crew management company's fault if they are communicating outside the terms of their agreements and crew end up homeless. A hotel's last rooms are it's most valuable so if an airline needs to confirm their needs for that day by 6:00PM and they don't all bets are off and it's not hotel's fault they sold those rooms to someone else at a higher rate. Nor is it the hotel's responsibility to call the airline after the cutoff to see if they still need rooms; especially when those rooms could be sold for 2 to 3 times the price. It's a two-way street too because airlines show no mercy when it comes to cancelling rooms hotels hold for them and routinely they cancel :01 second before the cancel cutoff even though they knew those rooms weren't going to be used hours or days before. Hotel<>airline crew relationships are typically usurious, transactional, and sometimes even acrimonious. COVID doesn't help.
 
Boof02671
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:07 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
Lootess wrote:
I remember reading the AFA contract for AA a year or so ago. Basically to get an idea of the standard since DL is non-union. It's rather spelled out the radius, types, and amenties of hotels that are allowed to be used for overnighters for the safety of the crew. So I can imagine how nutty things were when AA even tried an option that wasn't available 3 hours away when a music festival happened. Regardless in-flight services is suppose to handle all hotel logistics, including during IROPS. While it's good that the crew can just go and book something for themselves and crew, it's taxing to deal with the logistics on a regular basis with their already long work day. Business travelers usually do this stuff well in-advance like before their trip takes place. So have a little decency here for the crew.

Remember Delta’s fiasco?

Contracts are great, but there are times when they aren’t worth the paper they are written on. Does not matter what it says, when you just can’t schit out four, or seven, or ten QUALIFYING hotel rooms within 100 miles. It does happen at times, whether you want it to or not.

And there are consequences when the company violates the contract. No excuse. Because if the employee violates the contract the company will most certainly discipline them. Read the RLA, company is liable if they violate.
 
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admanager
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:00 am

[quote="BarryH"][/quote]

Great perspective. We all learned something.
 
Lootess
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:48 am

mcg wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
ASFlyer wrote:

Yes, in fact, per the contracts the airlines agree to with their work groups, it IS the airlines responsibility to find hotel accommodations for overnight stays.

So, the airline is responsible for the hotels failures or overselling?
The airline need to correct the problem (maybe by suing the hotels, that's up to them); but saying the airline is at fault because of the hotels actions is a stretch too far.


Sorry, it is the airlines responsibility to provide hotel accommodation to overnighting crews. If they fail to do so then they haven't met their agreed upon resonsibility.


Yep. Sure outlier situations occur but it should never be a regular thing that an airline crew needs to whip out their credit cards to reserve a hotel even if they can submit an expense report. This isn't part of their union contract or job profile. Like above it even spells it out a CC should never be used. Even company executives don't even book their own stuff most of the time, they usually have admins do it for them. After double digit hour work days, it's exhausting to do your own hotel logistics, never mind airport transportation/van times if they are even available at an alternate.

Regardless if AA outsources this IFS service, even top consulting firms have dedicated 24/7 lines to get emergent travel booked without wait. Billable time is money.
 
ASFlyer
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:01 am

BarryH wrote:
DLASFlyer wrote:
Very informative. If you were oversold on a given night and only half the C5 rooms were occupied would you release the remaining rooms to other guests even though C5 paid for them?


Oversells are like a countdown in the hotel industry. By 10:00PM if I have 3 normal arrivals and 3 crew I run the risk of walking people. Most of the time I'd walk regular guests vs. the crew. Part of it is compassion because crew arriving late in the evening for an overnight are just wiped. We've had to walk C5 a couple of times but they were put at a hotel next door, still had breakfast with us, and we gave them each 10,000 loyalty points so they were happy. We always work with crew scheduling before we do it.

FlyingElvii wrote:
The hotels cannot really do that, because they don’t know how we may end up covering a trip. Just because an inbound is canceled, doesn’t mean we may not be sending in another crew on another flight, even another airline, to cover the next day.

We would occasionally get calls from panicked desk against asking us to release rooms, but it was rare that we could actually give them an answer. IROPS can be very fluid, and plans can and do change by the minute, based on what is, is not, or could be available.


I/we can do anything we want when the airline or crew management firm they've hired gives us wrong or no information. The contract stipulates what is communicated, how it's communicated, and when it's communicated with hard cutoffs.

You're making it sound like what's going on is routine. Schedules are so disrupted, and not due to irrops, that the airlines have lost control of the process. We have to have the name of each crew member and use the airline provided sign-in sheet to document their arrival for liability purposes. We can have a pilot/FO/FA's name changed half a dozen times within a 12 hour period with each change communicated in a programmatic e-mail. Lately we've been getting daily crew reports that have all the positions blank with the names provided (or not) throughout the day. Changes are made so frequently we'll get communication about a change on a crew member hours after we've already checked someone in. Or we'll check someone in and not have received any communication about their arrival prior to their checkout. We get cancels for crew we never had reservations for or expected in the first place. My company manages 1,500 hotels and this is the new normal.

As I said, I'm benevolent. Other hotels may not be and it's the airline or crew management company's fault if they are communicating outside the terms of their agreements and crew end up homeless. A hotel's last rooms are it's most valuable so if an airline needs to confirm their needs for that day by 6:00PM and they don't all bets are off and it's not hotel's fault they sold those rooms to someone else at a higher rate. Nor is it the hotel's responsibility to call the airline after the cutoff to see if they still need rooms; especially when those rooms could be sold for 2 to 3 times the price. It's a two-way street too because airlines show no mercy when it comes to cancelling rooms hotels hold for them and routinely they cancel :01 second before the cancel cutoff even though they knew those rooms weren't going to be used hours or days before. Hotel<>airline crew relationships are typically usurious, transactional, and sometimes even acrimonious. COVID doesn't help.


after reading your post I wondered, why do hotels bid for airline business? What would be in it for them? And yet, every airline manages to secure hotels in every city they have crews staying in. Even cities that seemingly have no shortage of business. Like airlines who offer corporate discounts and additional services to their large corporate accounts, I imagine their must be something in it for the hotels. Is the relationship with other corporate accounts as much of a community service as you imply it is to the hotels airline customers? You can't fault airlines for the hotels agreeing to contract terms that offer nothing to them. Possibly there's actually something in it for the hotels? Over the last year and a half I stayed at more than one hotel that was so grateful for their airline business as otherwise, they would have closed their doors completely.
 
BarryH
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:42 am

ASFlyer wrote:
after reading your post I wondered, why do hotels bid for airline business? What would be in it for them?


Occupancy for a hotel is load factor for an airline. RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) is RASM. Just like airlines revenue manage coach booking categories to generate the most revenue they can based on demand hotels do the same thing. Crew and contract business are low rated but predictable and consistent which makes those categories attractive. With a base of that business a hotel can charge more for the rooms left to sell.

Like most airline markets demand goes up and down midweek vs. weekend and seasonally for hotels. Having a year long airline contract may cost you money on some weekends or during months of high demand. August is a slow month for me so airline crew is pure profit. During fall SEC games I lose big money on weekends. But on an annualized basis it's profitable and not just from the crew business itself but by it shrinking my hotel so I can get higher rate from the rooms left to sell. Hotels in my market compete for airline business.

The vast majority of hotels are individually or institutionally owned; attaching a brand is through a franchise arrangement. Some are professionally managed and some self-managed by their owners. I work for the largest hotel management company in the world. Professionally managed hotels understand the financial dynamic of airline crew well. Individually managed hotels not so much. They are seduced by the annual revenue number but don't realize until they are in the relationship the downside of displacing higher revenue at times. I'd be willing to bet the problems being pointed out by AA's union are at the hands of individual owner managed hotels wanting to have their cake and eat it too.

In small markets airlines are screwed. There may be nothing but a handful of ~85 room limited service hotels to choose from that are managed by not so savvy individual owners. Choosing a hotel in markets like that is a choice between bad and worse with frequent operational blunders and contract violations. ~250+ room full service hotels rarely have those issues because almost all are professionally managed. Hilton and Marriott will give anyone with a wallet a Tru or Fairfield franchise in a secondary market. You have to know what you're doing to get a name sake Hilton or Marriott franchise in a major market.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:17 pm

BarryH wrote:
ASFlyer wrote:
after reading your post I wondered, why do hotels bid for airline business? What would be in it for them?


Occupancy for a hotel is load factor for an airline. RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) is RASM. Just like airlines revenue manage coach booking categories to generate the most revenue they can based on demand hotels do the same thing. Crew and contract business are low rated but predictable and consistent which makes those categories attractive. With a base of that business a hotel can charge more for the rooms left to sell.

Like most airline markets demand goes up and down midweek vs. weekend and seasonally for hotels. Having a year long airline contract may cost you money on some weekends or during months of high demand. August is a slow month for me so airline crew is pure profit. During fall SEC games I lose big money on weekends. But on an annualized basis it's profitable and not just from the crew business itself but by it shrinking my hotel so I can get higher rate from the rooms left to sell. Hotels in my market compete for airline business.

The vast majority of hotels are individually or institutionally owned; attaching a brand is through a franchise arrangement. Some are professionally managed and some self-managed by their owners. I work for the largest hotel management company in the world. Professionally managed hotels understand the financial dynamic of airline crew well. Individually managed hotels not so much. They are seduced by the annual revenue number but don't realize until they are in the relationship the downside of displacing higher revenue at times. I'd be willing to bet the problems being pointed out by AA's union are at the hands of individual owner managed hotels wanting to have their cake and eat it too.

In small markets airlines are screwed. There may be nothing but a handful of ~85 room limited service hotels to choose from that are managed by not so savvy individual owners. Choosing a hotel in markets like that is a choice between bad and worse with frequent operational blunders and contract violations. ~250+ room full service hotels rarely have those issues because almost all are professionally managed. Hilton and Marriott will give anyone with a wallet a Tru or Fairfield franchise in a secondary market. You have to know what you're doing to get a name sake Hilton or Marriott franchise in a major market.

I found that the easiest to deal with from a scheduling perspective,(NOT the Contract Administrator’s), was Corporate Marriott’s. They understood our needs more often, and most importantly, THE EMPLOYEES ARE BETTER TRAINED. I cannot emphasize how important that is, to deal with someone on a regular basis, that you don’t have to try and educate over a phone line, because thier manager did not.
 
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eta unknown
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:44 pm

As Barry H said above, the hotel-airline relationship is often acrimonious. In Los Angeles I told a US cargo airline I was cancelling their contract because the Operations Manager and I got sick of dealing with their pilots' behaviour. Also in Las Vegas we had a site inspection visit from the AA pilot and FA unions- as soon as they left the GM and I looked at each other and agreed we didn't want their business simply because we weren't prepared to babysit all their demands. Having said that, as previously mentioned on this site, when negotiating London crew rates- the hoteliers hold all the cards.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:03 pm

BarryH wrote:
DLASFlyer wrote:
Very informative. If you were oversold on a given night and only half the C5 rooms were occupied would you release the remaining rooms to other guests even though C5 paid for them?


Oversells are like a countdown in the hotel industry. By 10:00PM if I have 3 normal arrivals and 3 crew I run the risk of walking people. Most of the time I'd walk regular guests vs. the crew. Part of it is compassion because crew arriving late in the evening for an overnight are just wiped. We've had to walk C5 a couple of times but they were put at a hotel next door, still had breakfast with us, and we gave them each 10,000 loyalty points so they were happy. We always work with crew scheduling before we do it.

FlyingElvii wrote:
The hotels cannot really do that, because they don’t know how we may end up covering a trip. Just because an inbound is canceled, doesn’t mean we may not be sending in another crew on another flight, even another airline, to cover the next day.

We would occasionally get calls from panicked desk against asking us to release rooms, but it was rare that we could actually give them an answer. IROPS can be very fluid, and plans can and do change by the minute, based on what is, is not, or could be available.


I/we can do anything we want when the airline or crew management firm they've hired gives us wrong or no information. The contract stipulates what is communicated, how it's communicated, and when it's communicated with hard cutoffs.

You're making it sound like what's going on is routine. Schedules are so disrupted, and not due to irrops, that the airlines have lost control of the process. We have to have the name of each crew member and use the airline provided sign-in sheet to document their arrival for liability purposes. We can have a pilot/FO/FA's name changed half a dozen times within a 12 hour period with each change communicated in a programmatic e-mail. Lately we've been getting daily crew reports that have all the positions blank with the names provided (or not) throughout the day. Changes are made so frequently we'll get communication about a change on a crew member hours after we've already checked someone in. Or we'll check someone in and not have received any communication about their arrival prior to their checkout. We get cancels for crew we never had reservations for or expected in the first place. My company manages 1,500 hotels and this is the new normal.

As I said, I'm benevolent. Other hotels may not be and it's the airline or crew management company's fault if they are communicating outside the terms of their agreements and crew end up homeless. A hotel's last rooms are it's most valuable so if an airline needs to confirm their needs for that day by 6:00PM and they don't all bets are off and it's not hotel's fault they sold those rooms to someone else at a higher rate. Nor is it the hotel's responsibility to call the airline after the cutoff to see if they still need rooms; especially when those rooms could be sold for 2 to 3 times the price. It's a two-way street too because airlines show no mercy when it comes to cancelling rooms hotels hold for them and routinely they cancel :01 second before the cancel cutoff even though they knew those rooms weren't going to be used hours or days before. Hotel<>airline crew relationships are typically usurious, transactional, and sometimes even acrimonious. COVID doesn't help.

Actually, it is kind of routine, when spread across a hundred cities every night, there is always something to deal with, even more so in IROP.
And then we have what we called “ Stupid Hotel Tricks” which almost always involved poorly trained staff, usually on the weekends.

It is summer… Though busier, it is not like any of this hasn’t happened before, especially in a place like FCA..

Want some fun? Try finding IROP rooms in Fort Meyers or Key West over the Christmas holiday. More than once I have had to limo crew to MIAMI or farther to find an overnight, not a single room, acceptable level or not, available anywhere in the Keys. A couple of times, I even had to dispatch the limo to pick them up from Miami, as well, nothing else was available.

Keep in mind that for the airlines, any hotel issues get amplified when crew are short, like they are right now due to training flow problems. Losing a crew due to hotel issues in that situation can end up costing big money due to displacements, cancellations, customer reacomms, etc.
 
ozark1
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Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:51 pm

    ASFlyer wrote:
    BarryH wrote:
    DLASFlyer wrote:
    Very informative. If you were oversold on a given night and only half the C5 rooms were occupied would you release the remaining rooms to other guests even though C5 paid for them?


    Oversells are like a countdown in the hotel industry. By 10:00PM if I have 3 normal arrivals and 3 crew I run the risk of walking people. Most of the time I'd walk regular guests vs. the crew. Part of it is compassion because crew arriving late in the evening for an overnight are just wiped. We've had to walk C5 a couple of times but they were put at a hotel next door, still had breakfast with us, and we gave them each 10,000 loyalty points so they were happy. We always work with crew scheduling before we do it.

    FlyingElvii wrote:
    The hotels cannot really do that, because they don’t know how we may end up covering a trip. Just because an inbound is canceled, doesn’t mean we may not be sending in another crew on another flight, even another airline, to cover the next day.

    We would occasionally get calls from panicked desk against asking us to release rooms, but it was rare that we could actually give them an answer. IROPS can be very fluid, and plans can and do change by the minute, based on what is, is not, or could be available.


    I/we can do anything we want when the airline or crew management firm they've hired gives us wrong or no information. The contract stipulates what is communicated, how it's communicated, and when it's communicated with hard cutoffs.

    You're making it sound like what's going on is routine. Schedules are so disrupted, and not due to irrops, that the airlines have lost control of the process. We have to have the name of each crew member and use the airline provided sign-in sheet to document their arrival for liability purposes. We can have a pilot/FO/FA's name changed half a dozen times within a 12 hour period with each change communicated in a programmatic e-mail. Lately we've been getting daily crew reports that have all the positions blank with the names provided (or not) throughout the day. Changes are made so frequently we'll get communication about a change on a crew member hours after we've already checked someone in. Or we'll check someone in and not have received any communication about their arrival prior to their checkout. We get cancels for crew we never had reservations for or expected in the first place. My company manages 1,500 hotels and this is the new normal.

    As I said, I'm benevolent. Other hotels may not be and it's the airline or crew management company's fault if they are communicating outside the terms of their agreements and crew end up homeless. A hotel's last rooms are it's most valuable so if an airline needs to confirm their needs for that day by 6:00PM and they don't all bets are off and it's not hotel's fault they sold those rooms to someone else at a higher rate. Nor is it the hotel's responsibility to call the airline after the cutoff to see if they still need rooms; especially when those rooms could be sold for 2 to 3 times the price. It's a two-way street too because airlines show no mercy when it comes to cancelling rooms hotels hold for them and routinely they cancel :01 second before the cancel cutoff even though they knew those rooms weren't going to be used hours or days before. Hotel<>airline crew relationships are typically usurious, transactional, and sometimes even acrimonious. COVID doesn't help.


    after reading your post I wondered, why do hotels bid for airline business? What would be in it for them? And yet, every airline manages to secure hotels in every city they have crews staying in. Even cities that seemingly have no shortage of business. Like airlines who offer corporate discounts and additional services to their large corporate accounts, I imagine their must be something in it for the hotels. Is the relationship with other corporate accounts as much of a community service as you imply it is to the hotels airline customers? You can't fault airlines for the hotels agreeing to contract terms that offer nothing to them. Possibly there's actually something in it for the hotels? Over the last year and a half I stayed at more than one hotel that was so grateful for their airline business as otherwise, they would have closed their doors completely.

    My thoughts on this after retiring from 43 years of flying : I believe initially hotels wanted us because we could go out and spread good comments about our stay. If I flew a 3 day trip, I could have the ability to influence a lot of people just by visiting with them inflight.
    We would always be able to stay ( for awhile)in a brand new, very nice hotel that is just getting going. It was very normal for us to eventually end up in another facility.
    The hotels we stayed in got better as the years went by. I would say in the last decade and with new competition from sites like AIRBNB, they realized that they needed us more than they thought.
    I will also just say that, overall, I don’t think hotels care for airline personnel. We could be demanding, arrogant and irresponsible. We have shot ourselves in the foot many times. Unpaid room service, multiple complaints about the room or demanding a different room and, most importantly, our wait time for the van to pick us up at the airport. Sometimes it would be an independent limo company (usually if it was a long layover downtown), but mainly it would be a specific van from that hotel. If you’ve had a 15 hour duty day and are scheduled for a 10 hour layover there isn’t a lot of time to play with ( when I left we had to have 8 hours “behind the door”). Most of the time the hotels did an excellent job. And don’t get me wrong. Most of the time the entire crew was patient and kind. I worked with so many great people i couldn’t even begin to count.
    The front desk people took all the flak. They could see what the company was paying for each room. I am sure more than just a few of them became embittered because some of us acted like we belonged in the penthouse. Again, a minority.
    I left before COVID so I can only imagine the increased level of tension on board ( mask compliance). That only makes for an increased level of exhaustion for everyone.
    There have been some very eloquent explanations on here about the room booking process from the hotels perspective. I can honestly say that I empathize with them and with the crews. It is more difficult for me to feel that way toward the airline. Sure, the huge bailouts prevented them from having to let people go. I’m happy for those who are back at work. They are ecstatic. It is now the company that must fulfill its obligations to their employees.True,these problems are not the norm and COVID has made a mess of everything. That’s why a contingency plan should have been an ongoing part of the operation so the company would be prepared, or as prepared as was humanly possible. I am hopeful for positive solutions.
     
    bluecrew
    Posts: 120
    Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:13 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:53 pm

    This stuff happens at every airline all the time now. Always so much worse in the summer, but now you have to bake in another layer of summer-level staffing into your already understaffed cake, it's pure chaos depending on the operator.

    I can agree with the several comments about hotel employees being better, or contractors being better. Our issue was that scheduling/"Crew Recovery" would never know what's going on, and wouldn't answer their phones. There was a situation a few years ago where the company had lost me in DCA for about 6 hours, the airport was shut down and nothing was coming in or getting out, and the only person who I could get on the phone was the contracted out hotel desk. They just booked me at our usual layover hotel, and the company didn't figure out where I was until about 28 hours later.

    This sounds like a mess and I hear about it every couple of weeks. It seems like it's everybody right now, not just AA and WN. I live out west and can confirm the statement that "everyone seems to have just gone on vacation," it's a zoo out here. Venues are packed, things are sold out, lines to get in just about anywhere on the weekends.
     
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    DL757NYC
    Posts: 430
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    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:35 am

    WayexTDI wrote:
    DL757NYC wrote:
    RR757 wrote:
    I travel a fair amount and I have to book/pay for my own flight and hotel and then claim. Doesn’t bother me - I get the loyalty points from both for my leisure trips.



    One of the most ignorant comments I’ve ever seen.

    It's not ignorant, it's real life.



    Real Life? How many years have you worked for an airline Champ. From the sound of it zero.
     
    FlyHossD
    Posts: 2231
    Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:21 am

    RR757 wrote:
    I travel a fair amount and I have to book/pay for my own flight and hotel and then claim. Doesn’t bother me - I get the loyalty points from both for my leisure trips.


    Several times over the course of my flying career, we ended up in a city that wasn't part of our original trip pairing. For example, I was expecting a layover in BOS (one of my favorites), but to cover an airplane that was broken elsewhere, we were reassigned and spent the night in GDL. Those rooms were already reserved for the flight (flight number) and the airline, but it came as a big surprise to us - the entire crew - when we learned of the change.

    And that wasn't terribly unusual. So there is a risk of interrupted crew rest when crews have to find, reserve and get to unplanned hotels. When the crew rest doesn't start prior to the legal limitations, it's the passengers the next day that suffer most.
     
    ibthebigd
    Posts: 457
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    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:22 am

    Would Airlines prefer onsite Hotels?

    IND has considered a hotel connected to the airport ever since the new terminal opened. IND doesn't really have any nice hotels near IND besides an Embassy Suites. Would Airlines at an out station like IND prefer an onsite hotel?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
    jetskipper
    Posts: 587
    Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2001 1:50 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:27 pm

    Most of the US Legacy carriers require the hotel be in the central business district when the layover is over a certain amount of time. For instance United requires it over 15 hours. That being said, connected hotels are nice for the ease of travel but you are usually stuck eating either at the hotel restaurant which is wildly overpriced, even with a crew discount, or grabbing something from the terminal.



    ibthebigd wrote:
    Would Airlines prefer onsite Hotels?

    IND has considered a hotel connected to the airport ever since the new terminal opened. IND doesn't really have any nice hotels near IND besides an Embassy Suites. Would Airlines at an out station like IND prefer an onsite hotel?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
    WayexTDI
    Posts: 2561
    Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:09 am

    DL757NYC wrote:
    WayexTDI wrote:
    DL757NYC wrote:


    One of the most ignorant comments I’ve ever seen.

    It's not ignorant, it's real life.



    Real Life? How many years have you worked for an airline Champ. From the sound of it zero.

    We were talking about employees in general, not flight crew in particular: it is very common for employees who travel for work to pay for their expense and get reimbursed after the fact.
    Company CCs are not a common thing anymore.
     
    FlyingElvii
    Posts: 1816
    Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 2:20 am

    ibthebigd wrote:
    Would Airlines prefer onsite Hotels?

    IND has considered a hotel connected to the airport ever since the new terminal opened. IND doesn't really have any nice hotels near IND besides an Embassy Suites. Would Airlines at an out station like IND prefer an onsite hotel?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

    No….
    They prefer to be away from the airport itself, for noise, food, and local transportation issues. You might use it for Day Rooms, displacement, or a short IROP overnight, but that’s it.
     
    ASFlyer
    Posts: 1908
    Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:31 am

    WayexTDI wrote:
    DL757NYC wrote:
    WayexTDI wrote:
    It's not ignorant, it's real life.



    Real Life? How many years have you worked for an airline Champ. From the sound of it zero.

    We were talking about employees in general, not flight crew in particular: it is very common for employees who travel for work to pay for their expense and get reimbursed after the fact.
    Company CCs are not a common thing anymore.


    I get you. It's common place for business travelers to pay their own expenses and then submit an expense report, or to use a corporate spending card. The problem for airline crew, as I'm sure you know, is that their schedules change constantly. It's nearly impossible for an airline crew person to make their own arrangements regularly for trips that can change at the very last second. Typically, airlines know how many airplanes will regularly be overnight at an particular location and how many rooms they need there. They can plan for that, even if they don't know who's going to occupy those rooms until late in the game. It can vary based on irregular ops and crew irregularities but, generally speaking, they have a good idea. It's not reasonable to suggest that crew should be responsible for managing their accommodations on a regular, or even infrequent but occasional basis. I know you probably weren't suggesting that, but for anyone unfamiliar with the complexities of airline crews schedules ...
     
    ASFlyer
    Posts: 1908
    Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:33 am

    ibthebigd wrote:
    Would Airlines prefer onsite Hotels?

    IND has considered a hotel connected to the airport ever since the new terminal opened. IND doesn't really have any nice hotels near IND besides an Embassy Suites. Would Airlines at an out station like IND prefer an onsite hotel?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


    to be honest, there are some spectacular hotels connected to airports that airline crews stay at. One of my favorite layovers was YVR - staying at the Fairmont in the airport. Plenty of food options, stores and whatever you need inside the airport. Some are better than others. DTW is another excellent example of an airport connected hotel that crews like. There's nothing quite like not having to shuttle back and forth to your hotel - but not all hotels are the same...
     
    usflyer msp
    Posts: 4363
    Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:43 am

    ASFlyer wrote:
    ibthebigd wrote:
    Would Airlines prefer onsite Hotels?

    IND has considered a hotel connected to the airport ever since the new terminal opened. IND doesn't really have any nice hotels near IND besides an Embassy Suites. Would Airlines at an out station like IND prefer an onsite hotel?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


    to be honest, there are some spectacular hotels connected to airports that airline crews stay at. One of my favorite layovers was YVR - staying at the Fairmont in the airport. Plenty of food options, stores and whatever you need inside the airport. Some are better than others. DTW is another excellent example of an airport connected hotel that crews like. There's nothing quite like not having to shuttle back and forth to your hotel - but not all hotels are the same...


    It really depends how on how long your layover is.
    I would hate to have a long layover at the onsite hotels at DTW and MSP due to the isolation and lack of food options. They would be fine for a quick 10 hour overnight because I probably wouldn't leave the hotel anyway but over that yuck.
     
    usflyer msp
    Posts: 4363
    Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:46 am

    ASFlyer wrote:
    WayexTDI wrote:
    DL757NYC wrote:


    Real Life? How many years have you worked for an airline Champ. From the sound of it zero.

    We were talking about employees in general, not flight crew in particular: it is very common for employees who travel for work to pay for their expense and get reimbursed after the fact.
    Company CCs are not a common thing anymore.


    I get you. It's common place for business travelers to pay their own expenses and then submit an expense report, or to use a corporate spending card. The problem for airline crew, as I'm sure you know, is that their schedules change constantly. It's nearly impossible for an airline crew person to make their own arrangements regularly for trips that can change at the very last second. Typically, airlines know how many airplanes will regularly be overnight at an particular location and how many rooms they need there. They can plan for that, even if they don't know who's going to occupy those rooms until late in the game. It can vary based on irregular ops and crew irregularities but, generally speaking, they have a good idea. It's not reasonable to suggest that crew should be responsible for managing their accommodations on a regular, or even infrequent but occasional basis. I know you probably weren't suggesting that, but for anyone unfamiliar with the complexities of airline crews schedules ...


    I agree. Alot of times crews don't even know where they are going to overnight when they depart that day and then you are basically asking crews to make their overnight arrangements while they are supposed to be flying the plane. It is not realistic.
     
    User avatar
    DL757NYC
    Posts: 430
    Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:07 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:21 am

    usflyer msp wrote:
    ASFlyer wrote:
    WayexTDI wrote:
    We were talking about employees in general, not flight crew in particular: it is very common for employees who travel for work to pay for their expense and get reimbursed after the fact.
    Company CCs are not a common thing anymore.


    I get you. It's common place for business travelers to pay their own expenses and then submit an expense report, or to use a corporate spending card. The problem for airline crew, as I'm sure you know, is that their schedules change constantly. It's nearly impossible for an airline crew person to make their own arrangements regularly for trips that can change at the very last second. Typically, airlines know how many airplanes will regularly be overnight at an particular location and how many rooms they need there. They can plan for that, even if they don't know who's going to occupy those rooms until late in the game. It can vary based on irregular ops and crew irregularities but, generally speaking, they have a good idea. It's not reasonable to suggest that crew should be responsible for managing their accommodations on a regular, or even infrequent but occasional basis. I know you probably weren't suggesting that, but for anyone unfamiliar with the complexities of airline crews schedules ...


    I agree. Alot of times crews don't even know where they are going to overnight when they depart that day and then you are basically asking crews to make their overnight arrangements while they are supposed to be flying the plane. It is not realistic.


    The comment originally I responded to was someone saying they travel “quite often” and book their hotels on their own. Traveling quite often for business/pleasure and doing it for a living is not even the same. Some of the people on here don’t understand how hard flying is on the body. To not empathize with flight crews being put in a position of getting hotels is wrong.

    I think most people think these crews are on 2-3 day layovers. Most are overnight with barely enough time to travel to the hotel settle in eat something. Get quality rest and make it back to the airport usually the next morning maybe early afternoon.
     
    GalaxyFlyer
    Posts: 8595
    Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 2:29 pm

    ASFlyer wrote:
    ibthebigd wrote:
    Would Airlines prefer onsite Hotels?

    IND has considered a hotel connected to the airport ever since the new terminal opened. IND doesn't really have any nice hotels near IND besides an Embassy Suites. Would Airlines at an out station like IND prefer an onsite hotel?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


    to be honest, there are some spectacular hotels connected to airports that airline crews stay at. One of my favorite layovers was YVR - staying at the Fairmont in the airport. Plenty of food options, stores and whatever you need inside the airport. Some are better than others. DTW is another excellent example of an airport connected hotel that crews like. There's nothing quite like not having to shuttle back and forth to your hotel - but not all hotels are the same...


    Fairmonts are not typical crew hotels, pretty upscale.
     
    kalvado
    Posts: 3397
    Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:25 pm

    WayexTDI wrote:
    DL757NYC wrote:
    WayexTDI wrote:
    It's not ignorant, it's real life.



    Real Life? How many years have you worked for an airline Champ. From the sound of it zero.

    We were talking about employees in general, not flight crew in particular: it is very common for employees who travel for work to pay for their expense and get reimbursed after the fact.
    Company CCs are not a common thing anymore.

    It may boil down to how many nights a hotel is required and how far in advance notice can be given.
    Crews may spend quite a few nights away from home, so their hotel bill may be comparable with the paycheck. Besides, crews have less control of their schedule and overnight location compared to a regular business traveler. Making arrangements for hotel from the airborne plane? Well, that is on top of flying that approach. Yes, non-smoking, and please hold on for a moment while I lower the gear.
     
    ASFlyer
    Posts: 1908
    Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:04 pm

    GalaxyFlyer wrote:
    ASFlyer wrote:
    ibthebigd wrote:
    Would Airlines prefer onsite Hotels?

    IND has considered a hotel connected to the airport ever since the new terminal opened. IND doesn't really have any nice hotels near IND besides an Embassy Suites. Would Airlines at an out station like IND prefer an onsite hotel?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


    to be honest, there are some spectacular hotels connected to airports that airline crews stay at. One of my favorite layovers was YVR - staying at the Fairmont in the airport. Plenty of food options, stores and whatever you need inside the airport. Some are better than others. DTW is another excellent example of an airport connected hotel that crews like. There's nothing quite like not having to shuttle back and forth to your hotel - but not all hotels are the same...


    Fairmonts are not typical crew hotels, pretty upscale.


    It was our crew hotel at Alaska in both YVR and SJC for years. Sometimes we luck out…
     
    AAtakeMeAway
    Posts: 539
    Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:59 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:03 pm

    ASFlyer wrote:
    GalaxyFlyer wrote:
    ASFlyer wrote:

    to be honest, there are some spectacular hotels connected to airports that airline crews stay at. One of my favorite layovers was YVR - staying at the Fairmont in the airport. Plenty of food options, stores and whatever you need inside the airport. Some are better than others. DTW is another excellent example of an airport connected hotel that crews like. There's nothing quite like not having to shuttle back and forth to your hotel - but not all hotels are the same...


    Fairmonts are not typical crew hotels, pretty upscale.


    It was our crew hotel at Alaska in both YVR and SJC for years. Sometimes we luck out…


    I'm "Corporate" for a company that owns or manages about 20 luxury hotels and resorts in North America. While we by no means make it a practice of routinely chasing airline crew contracts (the reasons for which Barry has eloquently detailed in posts above), we have had occasions where we've contracted with airlines for crew rooms at a couple of our luxury hotels for various reasons. So, in many markets it's not just the midscale hotels seeking out airline crew contracts.
     
    ikramerica
    Posts: 15186
    Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:21 pm

    blackbriar17 wrote:
    Reading a CNBC article is not the same as reading the grievance, and the few examples given do not tell the whole story.
    The "hotel desk" was outsourced by AA management to a contractor and it has been a fiasco from day 1. Our own people did a great job for us and we rarely had the kinds of problems that are now routine. Long wait times, inexperienced and poorly trained personnel and a smug, dismissive attitude from Aa management about the problems have led to this grievance.

    Now you know how the customers feel when they face IROPs and the airline staff treat them the same way.
     
    ikramerica
    Posts: 15186
    Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:46 pm

    ASFlyer wrote:
    BarryH wrote:
    DLASFlyer wrote:
    Very informative. If you were oversold on a given night and only half the C5 rooms were occupied would you release the remaining rooms to other guests even though C5 paid for them?


    Oversells are like a countdown in the hotel industry. By 10:00PM if I have 3 normal arrivals and 3 crew I run the risk of walking people. Most of the time I'd walk regular guests vs. the crew. Part of it is compassion because crew arriving late in the evening for an overnight are just wiped. We've had to walk C5 a couple of times but they were put at a hotel next door, still had breakfast with us, and we gave them each 10,000 loyalty points so they were happy. We always work with crew scheduling before we do it.

    FlyingElvii wrote:
    The hotels cannot really do that, because they don’t know how we may end up covering a trip. Just because an inbound is canceled, doesn’t mean we may not be sending in another crew on another flight, even another airline, to cover the next day.

    We would occasionally get calls from panicked desk against asking us to release rooms, but it was rare that we could actually give them an answer. IROPS can be very fluid, and plans can and do change by the minute, based on what is, is not, or could be available.


    I/we can do anything we want when the airline or crew management firm they've hired gives us wrong or no information. The contract stipulates what is communicated, how it's communicated, and when it's communicated with hard cutoffs.

    You're making it sound like what's going on is routine. Schedules are so disrupted, and not due to irrops, that the airlines have lost control of the process. We have to have the name of each crew member and use the airline provided sign-in sheet to document their arrival for liability purposes. We can have a pilot/FO/FA's name changed half a dozen times within a 12 hour period with each change communicated in a programmatic e-mail. Lately we've been getting daily crew reports that have all the positions blank with the names provided (or not) throughout the day. Changes are made so frequently we'll get communication about a change on a crew member hours after we've already checked someone in. Or we'll check someone in and not have received any communication about their arrival prior to their checkout. We get cancels for crew we never had reservations for or expected in the first place. My company manages 1,500 hotels and this is the new normal.

    As I said, I'm benevolent. Other hotels may not be and it's the airline or crew management company's fault if they are communicating outside the terms of their agreements and crew end up homeless. A hotel's last rooms are it's most valuable so if an airline needs to confirm their needs for that day by 6:00PM and they don't all bets are off and it's not hotel's fault they sold those rooms to someone else at a higher rate. Nor is it the hotel's responsibility to call the airline after the cutoff to see if they still need rooms; especially when those rooms could be sold for 2 to 3 times the price. It's a two-way street too because airlines show no mercy when it comes to cancelling rooms hotels hold for them and routinely they cancel :01 second before the cancel cutoff even though they knew those rooms weren't going to be used hours or days before. Hotel<>airline crew relationships are typically usurious, transactional, and sometimes even acrimonious. COVID doesn't help.


    after reading your post I wondered, why do hotels bid for airline business? What would be in it for them? And yet, every airline manages to secure hotels in every city they have crews staying in. Even cities that seemingly have no shortage of business. Like airlines who offer corporate discounts and additional services to their large corporate accounts, I imagine their must be something in it for the hotels. Is the relationship with other corporate accounts as much of a community service as you imply it is to the hotels airline customers? You can't fault airlines for the hotels agreeing to contract terms that offer nothing to them. Possibly there's actually something in it for the hotels? Over the last year and a half I stayed at more than one hotel that was so grateful for their airline business as otherwise, they would have closed their doors completely.

    While it sucks for the crew, what’s the alternative? Diverting to a city with hotel rooms for the crew and 150 pax? Pax have a contract too…
     
    ASFlyer
    Posts: 1908
    Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:24 pm

    ikramerica wrote:
    ASFlyer wrote:
    BarryH wrote:

    Oversells are like a countdown in the hotel industry. By 10:00PM if I have 3 normal arrivals and 3 crew I run the risk of walking people. Most of the time I'd walk regular guests vs. the crew. Part of it is compassion because crew arriving late in the evening for an overnight are just wiped. We've had to walk C5 a couple of times but they were put at a hotel next door, still had breakfast with us, and we gave them each 10,000 loyalty points so they were happy. We always work with crew scheduling before we do it.



    I/we can do anything we want when the airline or crew management firm they've hired gives us wrong or no information. The contract stipulates what is communicated, how it's communicated, and when it's communicated with hard cutoffs.

    You're making it sound like what's going on is routine. Schedules are so disrupted, and not due to irrops, that the airlines have lost control of the process. We have to have the name of each crew member and use the airline provided sign-in sheet to document their arrival for liability purposes. We can have a pilot/FO/FA's name changed half a dozen times within a 12 hour period with each change communicated in a programmatic e-mail. Lately we've been getting daily crew reports that have all the positions blank with the names provided (or not) throughout the day. Changes are made so frequently we'll get communication about a change on a crew member hours after we've already checked someone in. Or we'll check someone in and not have received any communication about their arrival prior to their checkout. We get cancels for crew we never had reservations for or expected in the first place. My company manages 1,500 hotels and this is the new normal.

    As I said, I'm benevolent. Other hotels may not be and it's the airline or crew management company's fault if they are communicating outside the terms of their agreements and crew end up homeless. A hotel's last rooms are it's most valuable so if an airline needs to confirm their needs for that day by 6:00PM and they don't all bets are off and it's not hotel's fault they sold those rooms to someone else at a higher rate. Nor is it the hotel's responsibility to call the airline after the cutoff to see if they still need rooms; especially when those rooms could be sold for 2 to 3 times the price. It's a two-way street too because airlines show no mercy when it comes to cancelling rooms hotels hold for them and routinely they cancel :01 second before the cancel cutoff even though they knew those rooms weren't going to be used hours or days before. Hotel<>airline crew relationships are typically usurious, transactional, and sometimes even acrimonious. COVID doesn't help.


    after reading your post I wondered, why do hotels bid for airline business? What would be in it for them? And yet, every airline manages to secure hotels in every city they have crews staying in. Even cities that seemingly have no shortage of business. Like airlines who offer corporate discounts and additional services to their large corporate accounts, I imagine their must be something in it for the hotels. Is the relationship with other corporate accounts as much of a community service as you imply it is to the hotels airline customers? You can't fault airlines for the hotels agreeing to contract terms that offer nothing to them. Possibly there's actually something in it for the hotels? Over the last year and a half I stayed at more than one hotel that was so grateful for their airline business as otherwise, they would have closed their doors completely.

    While it sucks for the crew, what’s the alternative? Diverting to a city with hotel rooms for the crew and 150 pax? Pax have a contract too…


    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight. It's not the crews responsibility to sleep in the airplane or on the floor of an airport in order to get people to wherever they're going. It's a part of doing business and the airlines need to figure it out. If the costs are high because hotel availability is low then the airlines are going to have to pony up and raise ticket prices. Just the same as it shouldn't be the concern of the passengers where the crew will sleep, it also shouldn't be the concern of the crew what the airline had to do or how much they had to pay for the accommodations while the crew are doing their jobs. The passengers contract with the airline is between them and the airline - not them and the crew. The crews contract is between them and the airline - not they and the passengers.
     
    silentbob
    Posts: 1647
    Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:26 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:40 pm

    ASFlyer wrote:
    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight. It's not the crews responsibility to sleep in the airplane or on the floor of an airport in order to get people to wherever they're going. It's a part of doing business and the airlines need to figure it out. If the costs are high because hotel availability is low then the airlines are going to have to pony up and raise ticket prices. Just the same as it shouldn't be the concern of the passengers where the crew will sleep, it also shouldn't be the concern of the crew what the airline had to do or how much they had to pay for the accommodations while the crew are doing their jobs. The passengers contract with the airline is between them and the airline - not them and the crew. The crews contract is between them and the airline - not they and the passengers.

    I know a few regionals that would just lie to the crews in order to get them to depart.
     
    ASFlyer
    Posts: 1908
    Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sat Aug 07, 2021 11:11 pm

    silentbob wrote:
    ASFlyer wrote:
    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight. It's not the crews responsibility to sleep in the airplane or on the floor of an airport in order to get people to wherever they're going. It's a part of doing business and the airlines need to figure it out. If the costs are high because hotel availability is low then the airlines are going to have to pony up and raise ticket prices. Just the same as it shouldn't be the concern of the passengers where the crew will sleep, it also shouldn't be the concern of the crew what the airline had to do or how much they had to pay for the accommodations while the crew are doing their jobs. The passengers contract with the airline is between them and the airline - not them and the crew. The crews contract is between them and the airline - not they and the passengers.

    I know a few regionals that would just lie to the crews in order to get them to depart.


    yeah, I could see that happening.
     
    Babyshark
    Posts: 321
    Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:48 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sat Aug 07, 2021 11:35 pm

    travaz wrote:
    I have a few FA's that live near me and they have said that in some cases it's not the Airlines fault but the Hotel. The Airline has a guaranteed rate, which is often much lower than the "what the market will bear", So they went after the cash. The hotel did provide them with accommodations at a close by budget hotel that does not meet the requirements of the CBA. I made the mistake last week of not making any arrangements for an overnight driving trip and almost had to spend the night in my pick up. The hotel I finally got was pretty shabby and I hoped I didn't bring bed bugs home.


    Delta hotel folks claim they pay near price in most places and get double billed for a room when the crew is a on a red eye rotation.
     
    harleydriver
    Posts: 99
    Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 1:09 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:24 am

    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight.

    If the problem is known in advance, I agree with you. If you are at an outstation and are preparing to depart and there is a mechanical issue with the aircraft and you can't go, then what? We are talking about IROPS and that would be an unplanned IROP. Then what is the company to do if there are no hotels available?
     
    ASFlyer
    Posts: 1908
    Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 08, 2021 1:13 am

    harleydriver wrote:
    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight.

    If the problem is known in advance, I agree with you. If you are at an outstation and are preparing to depart and there is a mechanical issue with the aircraft and you can't go, then what? We are talking about IROPS and that would be an unplanned IROP. Then what is the company to do if there are no hotels available?


    Yeah, irrops is a whole different beast if it’s out of base. The need the unions to take it to arbitration. The only way the companies will change the behavior is if they have to pay a penalty. The companies need to figure something out. If it means flying the plane back to base or a city with accommodations then that’s what it means. The pilots flying the Colgan plane that crashed in Buffalo were found to have been fatigued. Are we waiting for another 100 people to die because someone was tired?
     
    User avatar
    Phosphorus
    Posts: 1328
    Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:38 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:25 am

    I can see both sides of the argument. One of the obvious solutions, that avoids pitting unions against traveling public on this, is that airlines actually remember, what those HQ departments, that they gut to make P&L look nicer, are for. They are not necessarily fully occupied, when things are normal. They have to be ready for when TSHTF, and everything melts down, and have competence and nerve to fix stuff.
    But they've long since been fired. Cost optimized, or whatever that's called today.
    So none of this is happening, until "some regulation" of this is back, probably.
     
    kalvado
    Posts: 3397
    Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:59 am

    ASFlyer wrote:
    harleydriver wrote:
    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight.

    If the problem is known in advance, I agree with you. If you are at an outstation and are preparing to depart and there is a mechanical issue with the aircraft and you can't go, then what? We are talking about IROPS and that would be an unplanned IROP. Then what is the company to do if there are no hotels available?


    Yeah, irrops is a whole different beast if it’s out of base. The need the unions to take it to arbitration. The only way the companies will change the behavior is if they have to pay a penalty. The companies need to figure something out. If it means flying the plane back to base or a city with accommodations then that’s what it means. The pilots flying the Colgan plane that crashed in Buffalo were found to have been fatigued. Are we waiting for another 100 people to die because someone was tired?

    Mayday, mayday, mayday. We got engine explosion, shrapnel punctured the cabin, pressure loss. 1 dead 3 injured.
    We are landing at GPI...err... Cancel that, they have no hotel rooms available, we're proceeding to SEA.
     
    usflyer msp
    Posts: 4363
    Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:31 pm

    ASFlyer wrote:
    harleydriver wrote:
    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight.

    If the problem is known in advance, I agree with you. If you are at an outstation and are preparing to depart and there is a mechanical issue with the aircraft and you can't go, then what? We are talking about IROPS and that would be an unplanned IROP. Then what is the company to do if there are no hotels available?


    Yeah, irrops is a whole different beast if it’s out of base. The need the unions to take it to arbitration. The only way the companies will change the behavior is if they have to pay a penalty. The companies need to figure something out. If it means flying the plane back to base or a city with accommodations then that’s what it means. The pilots flying the Colgan plane that crashed in Buffalo were found to have been fatigued. Are we waiting for another 100 people to die because someone was tired?


    The there is a mechanical or the crew timed out, how exactly are they going to fly the plane somewhere? The entire point is that plane can't be flown.
     
    ikramerica
    Posts: 15186
    Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 08, 2021 9:38 pm

    Crazy idea…
    Can’t a system be created where small airports have emergency crash pads in house? While not ideal for crew, the airline should still be responsible for additional compensation and a real 10 hr rest period before the crew goes back in duty, but at least there is somewhere for crew to rest during IROPs. Can’t be any less comfortable than in cabin/aircraft crew rests…
     
    bigb
    Posts: 1513
    Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:30 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Sun Aug 08, 2021 9:44 pm

    ikramerica wrote:
    Crazy idea…
    Can’t a system be created where small airports have emergency crash pads in house? While not ideal for crew, the airline should still be responsible for additional compensation and a real 10 hr rest period before the crew goes back in duty, but at least there is somewhere for crew to rest during IROPs. Can’t be any less comfortable than in cabin/aircraft crew rests…


    Not legal per Part 117..... the best solution is to create some creative pairings that isolate cities with a history of limited hotel availability such avoid overnighting in those cities or routing crews with tight duty limits through those airports so that if Maintanence was to occur, a the airline can ferry a rescue plane in get the crew and pax out and DH a reserve crew in another day to rescue the broke aircraft.
     
    Cubsrule
    Posts: 15370
    Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:03 am

    bigb wrote:
    ikramerica wrote:
    Crazy idea…
    Can’t a system be created where small airports have emergency crash pads in house? While not ideal for crew, the airline should still be responsible for additional compensation and a real 10 hr rest period before the crew goes back in duty, but at least there is somewhere for crew to rest during IROPs. Can’t be any less comfortable than in cabin/aircraft crew rests…


    Not legal per Part 117..... the best solution is to create some creative pairings that isolate cities with a history of limited hotel availability such avoid overnighting in those cities or routing crews with tight duty limits through those airports so that if Maintanence was to occur, a the airline can ferry a rescue plane in get the crew and pax out and DH a reserve crew in another day to rescue the broke aircraft.


    I’m not seeing anything in Part 117 that requires that the rest period be in a hotel. A crew member who lives in a city where she overnights and chooses to go home isn’t violating Part 117 as long as she has a 10-hour rest period with 8 hours of sleep. Which section would the hypothetical crash pad violate?
     
    ASFlyer
    Posts: 1908
    Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:30 am

    usflyer msp wrote:
    ASFlyer wrote:
    harleydriver wrote:
    If the airlines can't or won't arrange for and pay for hotel rooms for the crew in advance of them leaving their origin city then the crews should refuse to work and they'll cancel the flight.

    If the problem is known in advance, I agree with you. If you are at an outstation and are preparing to depart and there is a mechanical issue with the aircraft and you can't go, then what? We are talking about IROPS and that would be an unplanned IROP. Then what is the company to do if there are no hotels available?


    Yeah, irrops is a whole different beast if it’s out of base. The need the unions to take it to arbitration. The only way the companies will change the behavior is if they have to pay a penalty. The companies need to figure something out. If it means flying the plane back to base or a city with accommodations then that’s what it means. The pilots flying the Colgan plane that crashed in Buffalo were found to have been fatigued. Are we waiting for another 100 people to die because someone was tired?


    The there is a mechanical or the crew timed out, how exactly are they going to fly the plane somewhere? The entire point is that plane can't be flown.


    what if. what if. what if.... We can what if this to death. The bottom line is that it's not okay for an airline to fly a crew person somewhere then leave them sitting in an airport overnight for 10 hours. Whether it's inside an airplane or in the terminal. This has not been something that's been a long standing issue. It's recent, since Covid per my understanding, and has to do with the lack of hotel rooms. If the crew is stuck in an airport for 10 hours and the airline wants to call that "rest" then the crews need to start calling out fatigued. When flights start cancelling left and right the airlines will get creative and come up with a solution.
     
    Cubsrule
    Posts: 15370
    Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

    Re: AA Unions File Grievance Over Lack of Hotel Availability

    Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:45 am

    ASFlyer wrote:
    usflyer msp wrote:
    ASFlyer wrote:

    Yeah, irrops is a whole different beast if it’s out of base. The need the unions to take it to arbitration. The only way the companies will change the behavior is if they have to pay a penalty. The companies need to figure something out. If it means flying the plane back to base or a city with accommodations then that’s what it means. The pilots flying the Colgan plane that crashed in Buffalo were found to have been fatigued. Are we waiting for another 100 people to die because someone was tired?


    The there is a mechanical or the crew timed out, how exactly are they going to fly the plane somewhere? The entire point is that plane can't be flown.


    what if. what if. what if.... We can what if this to death. The bottom line is that it's not okay for an airline to fly a crew person somewhere then leave them sitting in an airport overnight for 10 hours. Whether it's inside an airplane or in the terminal. This has not been something that's been a long standing issue. It's recent, since Covid per my understanding, and has to do with the lack of hotel rooms. If the crew is stuck in an airport for 10 hours and the airline wants to call that "rest" then the crews need to start calling out fatigued. When flights start cancelling left and right the airlines will get creative and come up with a solution.


    But, again, the only problem specifically identified in this thread (AA at FCA) involves the crew doing exactly what you suggest: they couldn’t get appropriate rest due to the hotel room situation, so they didn’t fly.

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